Dübs & Company

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Dübs & Co. was a locomotive works in Glasgow, Scotland, founded by Henry Dübs in 1863 and based at the Queens Park Works in Polmadie. In 1903 it became part of the North British Locomotive Company

Heinrich Dübs was a German born engineer who served as an apprentice to a machine tool business in Germany before becoming a machine Shop Manager at the age of 21.

He moved to England and was appointed as works manager of the Vulcan Locomotive Company Foundry near Warrington in 1842 and anglicised his name to Henry Dübs.

From 1842 – 1858 Dübs appears to have worked for the Lancashire locomotive builders Beyer-Peacock in Manchester. He lost his position as works manager in 1857 for reasons which may have had to do with his managerial style rather than his technical abilities.

In 1858 Dübs was appointed works manager and company partner at the Clydeside engineers and locomotive builders, Neilson and Company, in place of the existing works manager, James Reid, on the strength of his knowledge of locomotive building. Neilson and Company were at that time were changing from being a general engineering concern into specialist locomotive builders.

Dübs turned out to be an excellent draughtsman but was a poor engineer. Neilson judged him to be pig headed and a most difficult man to get along with.

In 1863 Dübs surrendered his partnership in Neilson and Company and set up his own locomotive building company. Walter Neilson stipulated that it should be no closer than three miles to his new Hyde Park Works in Springburn, Glasgow; accordingly, Dübs chose a site in Queens Park in Polmadie on the south side of Glasgow, which began business as the Glasgow Locomotive Works in 1864.

Dübs’ new company, Dübs and Company, soon proved successful. Despite disagreements with Walter Neilson of Neilson and Company, Dübs had managed to inspire sufficient loyalty that a number of workers left Neilson to work for him.

In 1866 Dübs and Co became one of the first companies to employ women as tracers in their drawing offices.

In 1867 Dubs and Co began building locomotives for export. Initially orders were received from India, Europe, Russia and later New Zealand and China, while still building a significant reputation in the domestic market.

Henry Dübs died in 1876 and he was succeeded by William Lorimer who continued the business until 1903 when it became part of the North British Locomotive Co. By this time the company had built 4,485 locomotives.

A number of locomotives were built by Dubs and Co for operating on the British mainlines and passenger railway including.

Preserved Industrial Locomotives

Works No Built Name Type Location
4101 1901 4101 0-4-0CT Foxfield Railway

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